Day at the Museum: May 4, 2019

Take an interactive walking tour of 10 University museums on and around campus

A couple of young face-painted visitors stopped at the Nevada Bugs & Butterflies booth to craft their own insect ecosystems at the 2018 Day at the Museum event.

Two children outside their with faces painted at a craft table with an adult.

Join the University of Nevada, Reno for Day at the Museum on Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is a walking tour for the 10 museums on and around campus with activities and giveaways at each museum. Day at the Museum is free and open to the public. Families, students, and individuals interested in science, astronomy, art, and more are encouraged to come!

South Campus: Museum of Natural History, the Biggest Little Pollinator Garden and the Arboretum

Start your day at the South end of campus at the  Museum of Natural History which showcases collections of plants and animals as far back as the 1850s. At Day at the Museum, there will be live animals, reptiles, plants, and insects, as well as face painting and native plant giveaways.

Two graduate students share bird specimens with children at Day at the Museum

Volunteer Hannah Sonnenberg with husband and graduate student Ben Sonnenberg share some of the many artifacts housed at the Museum of Natural History with visiting children and their parents during the 2018 Day at the Museum event.

"Inside the museum, there will be scientists talking about their work on bats, birds, butterflies, bees, brains, reptiles, parasites, and mammals, a photo booth, and multiple art projects for kids, among other activities!" Elizabeth Leger, Co-Director of the Museum of Natural History said.

Be sure to stop by the Biggest Little Pollinator Garden outside of the Museum of Natural History for native plant tours, a scavenger hunt, native bee and butterfly specimens, their famous bug petting zoo, as well as poster and plant giveaways!

Young girl holding a centipede
Be sure to stop by the Bug Petting Zoo outside of the Fleischmann Agriculture Building.

Did you know the University of Nevada, Reno is a designated state arboretum? At Day at the Museum visit the Arboretum to learn about how to identify campus trees and buy a copy of the Visitor's Guide.

Central Campus: The Keck Museum, The Lilley Museum of Art, and The Black Rock Press

Interested in minerals and fossils? The W.M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum is located in the Mackay School of Mines Building and has an extensive collection of minerals, ores, fossil specimens and photographs, as well as mining related relics. At Day at the Museum, there will be hands-on activities with 250-million-year-old Ichthyosaur fossils and minerals in the 107-year-old space. Get a taste of what the Keck Museum has to offer by watching an episode or two of the weekly video series, Mineral Monday with Keck Museum Curator Garrett Barmore.


The Lilley Museum of Art is located in the new University Arts building and offers two major exhibitions. Some of the work includes ancient to modern Chinese art and the Ken Buhrman and Dr. Hardy McNew Collection of Native American Art. At Day at the Museum, guests can tour and handle ancient art from China, Egypt, and Rome.

Interested in making your own card? The Black Rock Press is a working museum of printing and binding for students and the Black Rock Press artist book publications. At Day at the Museum, guests will tour the museum and letterpress print a card on one of the Vandercook printing press machines.

The Mathewson-IGT Special Collections offers Closer to the Land, an exhibit showcasing written and visual materials about Nevada's diverse landscapes and wildlife, with related activities for kids.

North Campus and Rancho San Rafael Park: Fleischmann Planetarium, Nevada Historical Society, Wilbur D. May Museum

Interested in space? Head up to the North end of Campus to the Fleischmann Planetarium for digital planetarium shows in the dome theater and an exhibit hall all about space.

"Day at the Museum at the Fleischmann Planetarium offers families and community members the chance to participate in interactive demos, explore some of our new moon exhibit challenges and check out our exciting new show line-up!" Paul McFarlane, the Director of the Fleischmann Planetarium said.

There will be 2 for 1 admission to all shows at the Planetarium and admission is $9. Discounts are available to Washoe County School District students and teachers, military, UNR students and faculty, children 3-12, and seniors 60 and older with ID.

If you're interested in Nevada's history and photography, the Nevada Historical Society has the most extensive photography and research collections library in the West. At Day at the Museum, the Nevada Historical Society will be presenting the history of our Silver State, short talks about the museum, and scavenger hunts. Check out the Nevada Historical Society's upcoming events with speakers on diverse topics, including gaming and rodeos!

Head just off campus to the Wilbur D. May Museum, at San Rafael Park for an exhibit on the Lost World of Dragons with larger than life animatronics, virtual reality, and more! The museum also has a collection of artifacts and animals from around the world.

Can't wait to see you there!

Day at the Museum map and listed directions

Day at the Museum Map

Museums locations list:

  • Museum of Natural History: Fleischmann Agriculture Building
  • Biggest Little Pollinator Garden: outside Fleischmann Agriculture Building
  • Arboretum: outside Fleischmann Agriculture Building
  • Black Rock Press: Basement of the Jot Travis Building
  • The Keck Museum: Mackay Mines Building
  • The Lilley Museum of Art: The University Arts Building
  • Special Collections & Archives: Matthewson IGT Knowledge Center
  • Fleischmann Planetarium: Virginia Street, north of Lawlor Events Center
  • Nevada Historical Society: Virginia Street, north of the Fleischmann Planetarium
  • Wilbur D. May Museum: Rancho San Rafael Park at Sierra Street

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